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Avoid Procrastination From Taking Over Your Life

By Edited Apr 1, 2016 2 3

If the title of this article appealed to you, chances are you have felt at some point in your life that you were no longer in control of things and feelings of depression, stress and unhappiness were taking over. It is very well possible that these feelings came from procrastination, not doing what you know you should be doing, but without the strength to really go for it.

In another article I have already explained the basic types of procrastination, knowing those might help you get back on track but this article will focus on a few things you can actively do in order to stop procrastination from taking over your life.

The advice given below might seem simple and in fact it is the simple advice that works best. However please realize that overcoming procrastination is not always that easy. Getting aware and admitting you are a procrastinator is the first step, are you ready to take the next?

First let us look though at the definition of procrastination. Procrastination stems from many different backgrounds and reason but basically it is a chronic habit of justifying why a certain specific task is not going to be done right now. All different reasons can be given, coming from discomfort or even plain fear as to not start right now with those jobs that are waiting to be finished.

Some say it is just laziness of people, wanting to make it sound like something different than it is, but if you are a real procrastinator, chances are it is not all that easily explained.

There is some good news though, procrastination can be avoided or even be overcome and below you will find a few tips on how to overcome procrastination.

Overcome Procrastination by Being More Aware of the Job

This might sound a little stupid, but it is important that you become really aware of the job that you have been postponing for so long, trying to avoid actually finishing it. Acknowledging the fact that you really dislike the job at hand or the task that really needs doing is important in such a way that you should be able to say out loud that you are waiting to finish it because you don´t like the job. In fact, your dislike is so strong that you rather put it off for ever and focus on more fun things to do.

Once you are able to say that you do not like to do the job, it is time to understand why. Maybe it is fear that is holding you back, or maybe you have many other things you could do first. Have a closer look at what needs to be done though, it might only take you an hour or so and if you do get to do it right now, you will no longer need to fret about doing it. Is it really worth all your struggle and stress to NOT do the job? Another example could be that you are putting off taking your car for a check-up out of fear of what they might find. Guess what though, if you don´t do it straight away the consequences might me a lot worse than right now. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will become and you know that most times cars really break down when you can least afford it.

So becoming aware is important, acknowledge you don´t like doing the task but think of the consequences that will be even worse.

Overcome Procrastination by Breaking Down the Tasks

As said earlier in this article, fear is a really big part of procrastination. Fear of not being able to finish a task, fear of not being able to do it correctly or fear of facing the outcome. Putting things off though will only make matters worse. It causes a lot of stress in the end when you realize you better get started because you are running out of time and by this point the task at hand seems to have doubled.

If there is no way around it, you will have to get to work and do your task. There is no doubt there, so in order for you to get started, try breaking the task down in smaller jobs. Make sure that each and every small part of the job is easily finished in a matter of an hour or half an hour. You will see that once you are able to finish something in half an hour, you will not only continue working to finish the next step, you will also feel good about having finished something.

The feel of accomplishment is what many people need in order to continue doing what needs to be done. Feeling proud of the work they have done is a real push to do more. This way you can break through your pattern of procrastination little by little until you learn that it pays off to avoid procrastinating.

Last Tip to Avoid Procrastination is to Just Start

Just grow up and get it over with. Stop making excuses as to why you can´t start write now. Just do it, just pick up the challenge and get on with it. You will notice that once you have started and been working at your task for a little while, it really isn´t all that hard and difficult. You might even start feeling a sense of accomplishment or pride because you did start after all and the longer you continue working, the closer you get to finishing the task.

Once you are really close, you surely don´t want to leave your task unfinished now, do you?

So here you have it, 3 steps every procrastinator should become aware of. By the way, did you know that you can actually completely overcome procrastination? The trick is to break the habit of procrastination and the best way to do it is during a 21 day program to retrain yourself and stop procrastination once and for all. You will become so much more productive once you stop making excuses, which in turn will have a huge positive impact on your life!



Nov 18, 2010 8:34am
All excellent ideas. Another suggestion is to have written goals, and check things off as you accomplish them!
Nov 23, 2010 1:42am
hi Deborah-Diane, thanks for commenting and I am glad you like my article! Writing goals down really does help, so does challenging yourself to do just a little bit more than the day before :)
Nov 27, 2010 4:34pm
My cat should really read this article. He procrastinates about coming in for the night...
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